7.5 million. That’s the number of daily commuters taking the Mumbai suburban railway – mumbai local. That’s more than the population of many countries, put together. It has been called the pulse of mumbai, the lifeline and so on. For a girl coming from a romantic and serene state like Goa, the chaos that is Mumbai local was frightening and at the same time exhilarating. The rush of catching the train by the seconds; the calm before the storm at bandra station; the people both ruthless and going out of their way to help; the guilty pleasure of a harmless touch in the crowd.
Its filthy, the local trains. Ruthless, arrogant, pushy and maddening. Why should I take a local train when a cab ride is so comfy. The traffic never bothered me anyway (‘Frozen’ tune playing in head). ‘Pudhil station thane’ ! Aargh…why is that repeating in my head.
I had made up my mind to tell him what I felt. He definitely must have a hint of what I have in mind. I am sure he feels it too. But does he? Why does he act so distant at times then? What was he thinking taking me to that restaurant…Bagdadi! eh..what a dump. Girl, focus! Pudhil station Ghatkopar. My heartbeat seamed to have been synced to the rhythm of the train. Okay, here it goes.
The silence was overbearing. Steady rhythm of the train almost reaching a crescendo in my heart. Feeling of numbness. ‘I am sorry. I don’t think I can see you that way’, that’s what he said. In the gushing wind through the open compartment a silent cry escaped me. He mustn’t have heard it. How can someone be so near, yet so distant? I waited all these years for this moment. To be turned down by the first guy I opened my heart to. Somethings not right. This is not how it was supposed to be. I wanted the train to stop. I needed it to feel with me. It meaninglessly kept on its stride.
To think I loved travelling on the local. So naive I was. It doesn’t have a rhythm. Just a static pulse. A heartless static pulse.